COVID-19 Mental Health Nutrition & Recipes

Let’s talk about alcohol

By Matt Cox • 22nd April 2020

How has lockdown and COVID-19 affected your drinking habits? Increased consumption? Or have you seen a decrease with the pubs shut? Have your habits changed? Matt Cox investigates.

It’s an important conversation, with a recent poll by YouGov indicating that 75 per cent of British drinkers are drinking the same or more than pre-lockdown, with 17 per cent of these indicating more. However, surveys on drinking habits often lead to bias, with people underestimating how much they drink –could these figures actually be higher?

In the run-up to lockdown, supermarkets and corner shops reported a 22 per cent jump in alcohol purchases, which accounted for an extra £199 million compared to the same period in 2019 according to Kantar.

Understandably, this has raised concern. There have long been links between excessive alcohol consumption and adverse immune-related health effects such as susceptibility to pneumonia, and many more health implications.

Alcohol consumption is often used to quell feelings of anxiety but remember this often only provides short-term release and is not a solution. It can even lead to unhealthy habit building with tolerance leading to increased consumption over time.

The charity, Drinkaware, have provided some fabulous advice and a toolkit to help on their website.

Here are their key tips for reducing alcohol intake whilst at home:

  • Home measures: Use a measuring cup, jug, or home scales to ensure you get correct measures
  • Go small: A large measure of wine (250ml) is 1/3 of a bottle. Use small wine glasses & ½ pint glasses to help you pour smaller measures.
  • Drink-free days: Stop each day becoming a weekend. Pick drink free days, or have evening activities that don’t require the addition of an alcoholic drink.

Get inventive with alternatives:

Low-alcohol or alcoholic free drinks are a much-improved market, with Gin and wine now available alongside the more traditional beers and ciders. We love Erdinger Alkoholfrei all year round as a midweek alternative-even more so now.

Matt Cox

This article was written by our team of in-house writers. We're always interested to hear from wellbeing professionals and business leaders. If you'd like to write for the zone, follow this link.

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